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Scot superstars Sam Heughan and Eunice Olumide urge people in Scotland fill up ‘The Empty Shop’

Outlander star Sam Heughan and supermodel Eunice Olumide are set to join a host of other celebrities in support of ‘The Empty Shop’ charity event in Glasgow this weekend as part of this year’s Pass it On Week celebrations.

4 Mar 16

The duo – who share a passion for helping the environment – have passed on donations of their own items to The Empty Shop to inspire others to follow suit when it opens its doors at St. Enoch Centre tomorrow (5 March).

Sam Heughan said: “I’m excited to be supporting The Empty Shop this Pass it On Week. In contrast to travelling back in time – as my Outlander character Jamie does – this is all about taking action to help Scotland in the future. I’m proud that Scotland is leading the way when it comes to minimising waste and making things last.

“With Eunice’s help, I hope we can inspire people throughout Scotland to pass on items of clothing they no longer use instead of just binning them. By passing on items such as clothing, toys and furniture, and buying vintage or second-hand, we can all help to reduce our impact on the planet.”

The Empty Shop, set up by Zero Waste Scotland, will be professionally displayed with public donations of good quality clothing, shoes and accessories as they are received throughout the Pass it On Week period. All ‘stock’ will be cleared at the end of each day, ready to begin the process again the following day. Donations will be rewarded with a £5 gift card to spend at St. Enoch Centre while stocks last. After The Empty Shop closes on 13 March, the donations will be removed from display and passed on to charities throughout Scotland.

The Empty Shop is one of over 250 events taking place throughout Scotland in celebration of #PassItOnWeek this 5 – 13 March. The initiative aims to encourage behavioural change to help keep the things we use in circulation for longer by passing on, swapping, sharing or donating them.

Eunice Olumide – supermodel and fashion-forward TV presenter – is known for her work to help tackle climate change, which recently included joining a 60,000-strong climate change rally in London with British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood. Last month, she helped launch an appeal to people throughout Scotland to sign up to run their own local events in support of Pass it On Week. Eunice helped Zero Waste Scotland gain enough publicity to secure over 250 local events, which will run concurrently with The Empty Shop.

Eunice said: Eunice said: “The Empty Shop is a first for Scotland, having originated in Brazil with further success in other countries. It’s brilliant that so many people are already supporting it – including First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon!”

“The Scottish Government’s focus on tackling climate change, and the work of organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland, is really helping Scotland lead the way in moving from a disposable culture to one where we all work to make things last.”

“There are so many simple steps we can take to reduce our impact on the environment. We could significantly reduce our carbon, water and waste footprints if we all just wear our clothes a few months longer, or pass them on to charity or second hand stores for someone else to enjoy.”

Every year in Scotland, many potentially re-usable items are thrown away, including about 2,100 tonnes of T-shirts, 5,000 tonnes of sofas and 9,700 washing machines. Research shows that the average household in Scotland has about £4,000 worth of clothes but almost a third of those have sat unworn for at least a year. On top of that, each household spends an average of £1,700 every year on new clothes. On the positive side, Scotland currently re-uses 49% of all its T-shirts, generating £10 million in financial savings, sales and re-employment and saving 25,600 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work with Sam and Eunice on Pass it On Week this year, and to have the backing of other influential Scottish and internationally famous names.

“We’ve had a tremendous response to the event from across Scotland with literally hundreds of local events taking place, which is great news. Keeping items in use for longer can save money, create job opportunities and make best use of the world’s raw materials that go into making the goods that we consume.

“It’s all about creating a society where we see the value in things instead of treating them as disposable. By sharing, swapping, repairing, buying second-hand and doing all we can to make things last, we can develop a more sustainable, circular economy for a flourishing Scotland.

“I wish all the best to everyone running, taking part in, or visiting a Pass it On Week event this year. Don’t forget to post your pictures and tweets on social media using the #PassItOnWeek hashtag.”

Sam and Eunice are among a host of other celebrities, bands and politicians who have pledged to donate an item of clothing to The Empty Shop, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, X-Factor judge and singer Rita Ora, rapper Eve, Greg McHugh – star of Fresh Meat and Gary, Tank Commander, British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, Scottish band Twin Atlantic and singer Amy Macdonald, and Stevie Jackson from Scottish band, Belle and Sebastian.

In addition to The Empty Shop, which will be open throughout the week of 5 – 13 March, St. Enoch Centre will host a special weekend full of other events on the 5 and 6 March in support of Pass it On Week and hosted by TV design expert John Amabile, including demonstrations and workshops on 3D printing, lego swapping, jewellery making, sewing, repairing items, fashion shows and much more.

Anne Ledgerwood, general manager of St. Enoch Centre, said: “We’re extremely proud to host Scotland’s first Empty Shop, which aims to reduce the amount of clothing that goes to landfill and raises funds for some great Scottish charities. Our shoppers have a fantastic record of supporting charitable initiatives so I’d encourage as many people as possible to donate their unwanted items to the unit and give their old clothes a new lease of life. Who knows, you might even spot a celebrity donation or two when you visit us.”

Sam Heughan added: “Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Glasgow. There are Pass it On Week events happening across Scotland. It’s a great opportunity to declutter your home, grab a bargain, have some fun and help reduce waste at the same time. All you need to do is log onto www.passitonweek.com to find out what’s going on near you.”

Glasgow is the latest city in the world – and the first in Scotland – to sign up The Empty Project as partner, and hopes to join the cities of Recife, Vitória, São Jose dos Pinhais, Maceio, Barcelona, Medellin, Manchester and Johannesburg, where successful The Empty Shop events have previously taken place.

The concept for The Empty Shop was created by The Empty Project – a partnership between Sao Paulo shopping centre Shopping VillaLobos, their owner Grupo BR Malls, and Loducca, an advertising agency based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Notes For Editors

For media enquiries, contact:

Sarah Stuart, PR Project Manager, Zero Waste Scotland
m: 07715 066461
e: sarah.stuart@zerowastescotland.org.uk   

  • The Empty Shop will be staffed by fashion and retail students of Glasgow City College.
  • Pass it on Week is also supported by Sustainable Glasgow.
  • For more information on Pass it on Week, visit www.passitonweek.com or follow #passitonweek
  • For more information on the benefits of re-use to Scotland’s economy, visit the Zero Waste Scotland infographic https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/content/benefits-re-use-infographic
  • Zero Waste Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government to support the delivery of its Zero Waste Plan and other low carbon and resource efficiency policy priorities.
  • Zero Waste Scotland is helping Scotland to become more efficient in its use of resources. We are supporting progress towards Scotland’s ambitious zero waste targets and enabling Scottish society to reap the benefits of more efficient use of resources. 
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk . You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland though via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus | LinkedIn
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